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He studied computer science at the local community college. He lived with his parents and two younger brothers in a sun-filled home on the St. Joseph River, where framed family photos hang from the walls and a pontoon boat is docked outside. And he dated in the way that so many American teenagers do today: digitally and semi-anonymously, through apps where prospects emerge with the swipe of a finger and meetings are arranged after the exchanges of photos and texts.
In December, Mr. Anderson met a girl through Hot or Not, a dating app, and after some online flirting, he drove to pick her up at her house in Michigan, just miles over the state line. They had sex in a playground in Niles, the police report said. That sexual encounter has landed Mr. Anderson in a Michigan jail, and he now faces a lifetime entanglement in the legal system.
Welcome to dating in the modern era
The girl, who by her own told Mr. Anderson that she was 17 — a year over the age of consent in Michigan — was actually They were at her home when the girl returned, according to The South Bend Tribune. A few weeks later, the paper said, the police visited Mr.
Anderson, who cooperated and, in February, turned himself in. He was arrested and charged and, after pleading guilty to fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, was sentenced to 90 days in jail and probation. As an Indiana resident, Mr. Anderson will most likely be listed on a sex offender registry for life, a sanction that requires him to be in regular contact with the authorities, to allow searches of his home every 90 days and to live far from schools, parks and other public places.
His probation will also require him to stay off the Internet, though he needs it to study computer science. Some advocates and legal authorities are holding up Mr. In the decades since, the registries have grown in and scope; the nearlypeople on registries in the United States go beyond adults who have sexually assaulted other adults or minors. Also listed are people found guilty of lesser offenses that run the gamut from urinating publicly to swapping lewd texts.
As Mr. This guy is obviously not a pedophile. But once Mr. There are fledgling efforts in some states to change sex offender registries so that they do not include juveniles or those guilty of minor offenses. In California, the corrections department announced in March that the state would ease residency requirements for many sex offenders, allowing certain low-risk individuals to live in areas closer to schools and parks that were ly off limits.
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Many sex offenders have ended up broke and homelessliving in clusters under freeways because they are routinely rejected by employers and landlords, and because they are banned from living in so many neighborhoods that contain public places like parks. Brenda V.
Frequently, a judge will give the lightest possible sentence, but cannot change the restrictions involving the offender registry. Jones said. Changing the laws has been a slow fight.
They have been ed by the girl, who is now 15, and her mother, who have also defended Mr. Anderson, appearing in a District Court in Michigan this spring to ask a judge for leniency. After Mr. Anderson pleaded guilty to criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree, the judge declined to grant him a special status intended for young offenders. During a sentencing hearing in April, Judge Wiley criticized online dating in general and berated Mr. Anderson for using the Internet to meet women.
Meet, hook up, have sex, sayonara.
Teenager’s jailing brings a call to fix sex offender registries
Totally inappropriate behavior. There is no excuse for this whatsoever. The prosecutor, Jerry Vigansky, did not oppose a Holmes Act sentence, but noted that it had not been applied to two similar cases in recent months. For some reason, Mr.
Anderson and his defenders say it is precisely that culture that makes it difficult to determine if a prospective sexual partner is under age, when introductions occur online and outside traditional social networks.
It is also easy to misrepresent personal details, including age. Grabel declined to make Mr. Anderson available for an interview.
The law requires people to be responsible for determining the age of their sexual partners, he said, and in a case like Mr. Jones said in an interview. People are meeting online, and that creates all sorts of problems.
Now, people have all these crazy apps where you can locate people in your vicinity where people want to have a relationship. You should be very careful. He said he was not bothered by the terms of Mr. Truck drivers, welding.
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There are other opportunities. That kind of talk infuriates the Andersons.
Their own house is less than 1, feet from a public boat launch, which is considered a public park under state law. A hearing is set for Aug.